Moscow, Nov 13: The Russian Defence Ministry has denied that talks had been held with India on the delivery of the nuclear submarine Akula II Class Nerpa, onboard which 20 people died in an accident last week.
''Russia did not launch talks on a contract to supply India with the Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine,'' a Defence Ministry official told RIA Novosti. Meanwhile, spokesman for the investigation committee at the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, Vladimir Markin, on Thursday, Nov 13 said a crewmember activated, without permission, a fire safety system onboard the submarine, causing the death of 20 people.
''Military investigators have determined the person who activated, without permission and any particular reason, a fire safety system onboard the submarine,'' the news agency quoted Mr Markin as saying. ''He is a sailor from the crew, and he has already confessed,'' he said.
Criminal charges have already been brought against the crewmember and he faces up to seven years in jail. The accident occurred last Saturday, Nov 8, while the Nerpa was undergoing sea trials in the Sea of Japan. Three sailors and 17 shipyard workers died in the accident. There were 208 people, including 81 sailors, onboard the ship.